This quarter we are excited to feature
Herb B. Kuhn
President & CEO of Missouri Hospital Association

What benefits and impacts do you see in the next couple of years from health information exchanges (HIE’s)?
Coordinated care is better care. When health care providers have access to a patient’s up–to-date medical record and health information, they can make better, more informed decisions about appropriate care. HIE’s also help drive change in establishing patient risk. The Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) is working with MHC to build a near real-time alerting system to help providers understand patient status. By alerting hospitals and health professionals when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred, the patient’s entire health service delivery team can work collaboratively to improve outcomes.
Continuity of care will help reduce health care costs, improve patient outcomes and increase the value of quality efforts.
In the last 10 years health information technology has made gigantic leaps forward, what has this meant to your business?
Technology has significant potential to transform health care. It can extend the reach of providers, inform decision-making from the bedside to the boardroom, and help deliver on the aspirations of the Triple Aim — better care, better health and lower costs.

MHA is working to harness the power of “big data” to support health care decision-making at the patient, organization and system level. For more than three decades, the Hospital Industry Data Institute (HIDI), the association’s data company, has been the backbone of MHA’s data collection and reporting system. Currently, HIDI provides data collection to support a suite of business intelligence and analytic tools for more than 1,500 hospitals in 11 states. Better data support better care — a win for all stakeholders.
One of the biggest challenges remains the ability of all participants in the system to access the value of technology. HIEs are essential to building better access to data. However, significant disparities exist within the provider community — in health information technology infrastructure, access to bandwidth and IT staffing — that can prevent optimization of technology. Technology now allows rapid data exchange and near real-time access to health information. The system to maximize the value of these advances is moving more slowly and less evenly.
Patients sometimes seem to be an afterthought in health care, what can be done to make them the centerpiece of health care?
Patient-centered care is central to improving care. Technology must serve the goal of improving care quality, patient experience and overall health care system value. The best investments in technology are the ones that serve to better connect the patient and provider, leading to better care decisions. At the most basic level, access to a patient’s medical records can improve delivery of care. However, patient-focused technology, including risk-based predictive modeling, can assist providers in understanding the interventions in the care environment and post-discharge that lead to higher quality care. Understanding that health happens in the places we learn, live, play and work — and not the environment of care — is essential to improving individual and community health. This paradigm shift improves patient outcomes while returning value back to the health care system.  It can’t happen without interconnected health data technologies serving as a backbone